University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Minnesota Obesity Center

Advancements with Transdiciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer Center

The successful grant that perhaps best illustrates the value of the MN Obesity Center is the Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) Center Grant that was developed with support from the Epidemiology & Intervention Core and submitted to the National Cancer Institute by a multidisciplinary team including Drs. Simone French, Leslie Lytle, Kathryn Schmitz, Mindy Kurzer, and Robert Jeffery (PI) titled “Examining the Obesity Epidemic through Youth, Families and Young Adults”.

The purpose of the TREC Center is to conduct transdisciplinary research, training, and outreach on obesity and cancer in youth, family, and young adults.  The Center will address questions about the etiology, prevention, and treatment of obesity in youth and families, and explore biological pathways that may link obesity to cancer.  The grant involves seventeen faculty from the School of Public Health and nine faculty from other Schools.  The total award for the grant is $10,222,411. 

Two MN Obesity Center Participating Investigators, Catherine Kotz, Ph.D., UMN, and James Levine, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic, were the leaders of a University of Minnesota – Mayo Clinic collaborative that was awarded a grant through Minnesota Governor Pawlenty's Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics. The research plan was entitled "Non-Volitional Activity in Obesity Resistance: Role of the Brain."

The Basic Mechanisms Core assisted Dr. Kotz in this successful grant application by consulting with her on the best molecular methods.

The Metabolic Studies Core assisted Dr. Levine with his development of human research component of the plan.

This research has been very productive and has led to several well recognized research publications and lectures reviewing this scientific area of brain regulation of spontaneous physical activity. Dr. Kotz was invited to give key concept talks this year on the topic at the International Obesity meetings in Australia and at the Obesity Society Meetings in Boston.

Advancements Made by Core Facilities:

Disordered Eating Assessment Core

Epidemiology and Intervention Core

Metabolic Studies Core

Molecular and Cellular Basis of Obesity Core

Advancements with MNOC Partnerships:

Obesity Consortium of Minnesota

Obesity Prevention Center

Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer Center